CFP: Disability Health Svcs, Low & Middle Income Countries

Call for Abstracts: International Research Symposium: Equitable Health Services for People with Disabilities with a Focus on Low and Middle Income Countries

The symposium will be held at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine: The deadline for submission of abstracts is end of Friday July 29th 2011:

Co-organised by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tuesday November 8th, 2011, The World Report on Disability, mandated by the World Health Assembly and jointly published by WHO and the World Bank, will be launched in June 2011. The Report includes the first updated prevalence estimates for disability since the 1970s, reviews the factors that affect disability trends, the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in their societies and the impact that these barriers have on the lives of disabled people.

A specific focus of the report is on the health of people with disabilities in light of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which reinforces amongst other fundamental rights, the right of persons with disabilities to attain the highest standard of healthcare, without discrimination. Evidence suggests that people with disabilities have unequal access to general healthcare services and unmet healthcare needs compared with the general population, particularly in low and middle income settings. Unmet rehabilitation needs are also common and can restrict participation, cause deterioration in health, increase dependency on others, and decrease quality of life.

The forthcoming World Report on Disability highlights gaps in knowledge and stresses the need for further research and changes towards disability inclusive policy and practice. This one day international symposium, seeks to bring together researchers, policy makers, disability advocates, NGOs, health and rehabilitation professionals, and donors to share current research on equity in health care for people with disabilities and promote interdisciplinary action in policy relevant research.

We are encouraging abstracts for presentations and posters focusing primarily on research and evidence in low/middle income settings across these three broad themes:

1. At the level of the individual

What differentials in access to general health services exist between persons with disabilities and individuals without disabilities? And among the diversity of people with disabilities (e.g. men and women, impairment, children)? What are the unmet healthcare needs of persons with disabilities? What barriers are faced by people with disabilities (e.g. attitudinal, environmental, communication, financial) in accessing general health and rehabilitation services? How are these barriers specific to people with disabilities? To what extent do barriers to access impact the health and well-being of people with disabilities?

2. At the level of the system or service

How can health systems be structured and the quality of general health care and rehabilitation services improved to address barriers and achieve equity, effectiveness, appropriateness and safety? How to estimate the resources necessary in rehabilitation to fulfill the needs of people with disabilities? What innovations at the service or system level can be introduced to improve access? What is required to deliver equitable services in challenging environments? (e.g. in disaster, conflict situations) What works in community-based rehabilitation in improving access to general healthcare and rehabilitation services? How can the active participation of people with disabilities, in the promotion and planning of healthcare services, be ensured? How to ensure health and rehabilitation professionals deliver high quality services which respect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities?

3. From research to policy

How to ensure research is translated into policies and practice? How can research be developed, undertaken and disseminated in ways which are relevant and accessible to people with disabilities and their representative organizations, policy makers, practitioners etc?

Papers on the above themes that incorporate the following cross-cutting issues are encouraged:

  • Participatory and emancipatory research methods
  • Methodological issues in the collection of disability-related statistics
  • Examples of where evidence/research has led to change in practice or policy

Contacts: Email: Postal Mail: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, England


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